No, we're not asking you to dumpster dive, but it's time to rethink the foods you throw away.
You probably don't think twice about tossing peels, cores, and stems of certain fruits and veggies. But for some of these foods, that means throwing away the most concentrated nutrients.
You can waste less and benefit more by getting creative with these parts, but note most of these parts should be blended or prepared before eating.
Here's seven things you should think twice about before tossing:
1. Watermelon rinds.
The rind isn't exactly as exciting as the watermelon itself, but it does have nutrients. Eating the rind will give you boosts in vitamin C, fiber, potassium and even small amount of vitamin B-6. Plus, it contains very few calories so you'll be getting nutrients without going over your limit. Watermelon rinds are also high in citrulline, an amino acid that can improve blood flow and help to support other cardiovascular functions.
Watermelon rinds can be pickled, sautéed or juiced.
2. Avocado seed.
Avocado may be everyone's favorite superfood, but chances are you've been throwing away all the nutrients. 70 percent of an avocado's nutritional benefits are in the seed. Avocado seeds are loaded with antioxidants that can lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke. They also have tons of soluble fibre which helps digestion.
Blend it into a fine powder and throw it in a green smoothie or juice to reap all its benefits.
3. Orange peels.
Throwing away an orange's peel means missing out on a source of protein, riboflavin, vitamin A and vitamin B-6. It also contains tons of beneficial minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and selenium. The peel has very little fat and no sodium or cholesterol.
If you're just not ready to eat the peel raw, try finely dicing them and adding them to soups or stews. You can also make candied orange peels, sprinkle zest on your favorite dishes or cook them a little in simple syrup and dip in dark chocolate.
4. Pineapple core.
Pineapple cores have high levels of bromelain which aid digestion and act as an anti-inflammatory.
Save room in your trash by blending the core in with your next smoothie.
5. Celery leaves.
Those leaves you cut and toss every time you eat celery actually have more magnesium and calcium than the stalks. They also contain the more vitamin C and potassium.
Instead of throwing the leaves in the trash, throw them into a soup, salsa, casserole or even your salad.
6. Cauliflower leaves and stalks.
Cauliflower really doesn't get enough credit. It's nutritious, delicious and super versatile. Its leaves and stalks should definitely not be ignored either. They're high in fiber, vitamin C, and calcium. The leaves are also a source of calcium as well as magnesium.
Eat stalks raw and feel free to use your favorite dip. Roast the leaves with some of your other favorite roasted vegetables.
7. Onion skin.
Eating papery onion skins probably doesn't sound very appealing, but it actually has even more antioxidants than the part the onion you do eat. The skin is also rich in quercetin which can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation.
Try adding the skins to stocks and stews.
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